There is a popular claim that one fart helps you burn a whole 67 calories.
Sounds like a hypothetical way to lose weight, right?
The simple fact is that the claim is very false, and we'll give a detailed explanation in a bit.
To help us understand the answer better, let's go to the basics and learn what farting actually is. We also wrote a guide on how to fart when bloated, you should check it out.
What is a Fart and How Does it Form?
A fart, also known as flatus or gas is basically the release of gas in the intestines through the anus. There are a couple of ways gas can get into the digestive tract and these are:
1. Swallowing Air
When taking in food, you actually swallow air together with whatever you are eating. The air swallowed contains gases such as Oxygen and Nitrogen.
These gases make their way through the digestive tract in small amounts. The body releases these gases either by belching through the mouth or as farts through the anus.
2. Food Breakdown In The Intestines
Another way gases are produced in the intestines is during the process of food breakdown taking place in the large intestine.
Some particular kinds of food tend to produce more gas while they are being digested. These are mainly food substances that are rich in polysaccharides and oligosaccharides.
Starchy foods such as potatoes and foods rich in sugars and sulphuric proteins e.g milk and beans could make you feel gassy.
Other examples of such foods include onions, eggs, oats, cashews and some vegetables such as cauliflower, asparagus, and broccoli.
Sometimes, the body may have difficulty digesting a natural sugar called lactose, which is present in dairy foods. When you consume foods such as yogurt, milk or any other type of dairy product, and you discover that you feel bloated with gas, it might just mean that your body is not digesting those food substances properly. It is advised to consult a doctor for a proper assessment.
3. Bacterial Activity
Carbon dioxide gas is carried by the bloodstream into the gut. Anaerobic bacteria are also present in the gut, these bacteria are capable of producing Hydrogen and some Methane gas. The production of these gases is the reason why your fart is actually flammable.
Bacteria activity and protein decomposition result in the production of fatty acids in the intestine. These substances include nitrogen compounds, butyric acid and sulfur compounds such as hydrogen sulfide and carbonyl sulfide. All these are responsible for the foul odor farts are known for.
Now that we have an understanding of what farts are and how they are formed, let us review what calories are and their relevance to the body.
Read Also: Vagina Farts: All You Need To Know
What are Calories?
A calorie is a unit or a measure of energy.
When talking about calories in the food we eat, it simply describes the amount of energy the body gets from consuming that food.
For people that really want to lose weight, calories may seem like a bad thing, but in the actual sense, the body does need calories to function. It only becomes a problem when we consume calories in excess of what the body is burning off.
If you take in more calories than your body needs or uses up, the body would store up the excess calories as fat. If this habit continues over a long period of time, it would eventually lead to weight gain. Therefore, we can say that calorie intake has an important role in how much weight a person gains, taking into consideration how active or inactive the individual is.
The number of calories required to maintain optimal body functions differs from person to person. Factors such as gender, weight, height, body shape, level of physical activity and health status could influence how many calories a person should be consuming daily.
It has been estimated that males need an average of 2,700 calories per day, while females need about 2,200 calories per day.
Now, that we have an understanding of both farts and calories, let's go back to the original question: Does farting burn calories?
The simple answer to this is no, farting does not burn calories, neither is it an efficient or effective method to lose weight.
No doubt, when you fart, you may feel lighter, especially if you have been bloated, but that is just about how far it goes. It certainly does not burn calories.
There is little or no scientific research to back up this claim that one fart burns up to 67 calories. In fact, if that was really the case, then it would mean that farting an average of 14 to 20 times a day would make you lose 938 to 1,300 calories all in one day.
This sounds too far-fetched to be true.
So, How Then do I Burn Calories?
Metabolism is the biological process by which the body converts the calories it consumes into energy to be used. The body's basal metabolic rate reduces as one gets older.
Men generally tend to burn more calories than women, and people with more muscles burn more calories when compared to people with a lesser muscle bulk. Calories are also burned during the process of eating, digestion, absorption, and utilization of food.
Ways to increase calorie burning include the following:
1. Building muscles and strength training:
Muscles are metabolically active and are able to burn calories. Research says that for every pound of muscle gained, you burn about 50 calories. In fact, the muscles can keep on burning calories even when you are not moving.
2. Aerobic exercise:
Engaging in at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily is a highly efficient way to burn calories and even achieve weight loss. Examples of aerobic exercises include walking, jogging, swimming and cycling.
3. Physical activity versus sedentary lifestyle:
It is greatly encouraged to keep moving. The more you move, the more calories you would burn. Instead of staying in one position for long, try to shuffle your feet, stand and stretch, pace the floor, use the stairs or walk to the nearby store. Also, try to engage in light activities such as gardening, or doing house chores.
4. Meal size and frequency:
In order to prevent your metabolic rate from slowing down, it may be better to eat smaller portions of healthy meals regularly, as opposed to one big meal taken less frequently.
We have seen so far that in order to burn calories effectively, farting does not come anywhere close. It is only a myth. You would need to stay active and take the right measures if you desire to burn calories effectively.